[caption id="attachment_696156" align="alignnone" width="628"]<img class="size-full wp-image-696156" alt="Ajinkya Rahane replaces Steven Smith IANS" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Rajasthan-Royals-Ajinkya-Rahane-in-action271.jpg" width="628" height="355" /> Ajinkya Rahane replaces Steven Smith IANS[/caption] <p></p> <p></p><strong>Mumbai:</strong> Newly-appointed <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/RR">Rajasthan Royals</a> skipper <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/Ajinkya-Rahane">Ajinkya Rahane</a> is excited to lead the side in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (<a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/IPL">IPL</a>) beginning next month. Rahane replaced <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/players/steven-smith/">Steven Smith</a> who stepped down yesterday over the ignominious ball tampering scandal that has rocked the world of cricket. "I am very excited to captain the team that I have always considered as my family. I would extend my thanks to the entire management of Rajasthan Royals for having shown the trust in me and considering me for this role," 29-year-old Rahane was quoted as saying in a media release issued here. <p></p> <p></p>"I am thrilled to be back with the Royals again and I am ready to get to work and do all that I can, to ensure we go all out and give our best. We won't miss a beat as we gear up for yet another exciting IPL season in a few days from now," the stylish batsman added. Rajasthan Royals are coming back to the IPL after serving a two-year ban. In the last IPL, Rahane had played for the Rising Pune Supergiant. <p></p> <p></p>"I would also like to thank the fans and followers who have stood by us and I look forward to their continued support for Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming season," he added. Rajasthan Royals will begin their campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on April 9.